Shortlisted for the Andrei Bely Prize and Russia’s National Big Book Award
Larionov. A general of the Imperial Russian Army who mysteriously avoided execution by the Bolsheviks when they swept to power and went on to live a long life in Yalta, leaving behind a vast heritage of memoirs.
Solovyov. The young history student who travels to Crimea, determined to find out how Larionov evaded capture after the 1917 revolution.
With wry humour, Eugene Vodolazkin, one of Russia’s foremost contemporary writers, takes readers on a fascinating journey through a momentous period of Russian history, interweaving the intriguing story of two men from very different backgrounds that ultimately asks whether we can really understand the present without first understanding the past.
Eugene VodolazkinÂ was born in Kiev and has worked in the department of Old Russian Literature at Pushkin House since 1990. He is an expert in medieval Russian history and folklore.Â Solovyov and Larionov is his debut novel.Laurus(Oneworld, 2015), his second novel but the first to be translated into English, won the National Big Book Award and the Yasnaya Polyana Award and has been translated into eighteen languages. His third novel,The Aviator (Oneworld, 2018), was shortlisted for the Russian Booker Prize and the National Big Book Award. He lives in St Petersburg.
Lisa C. Hayden’s translations from the Russian include Eugene Vodolazkin’sÂ Laurus, which won the Read Russia Award in 2016 and was also shortlisted for the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize along with her translation of Vadim Levental’sÂ Masha Regina. Her blog, Lizok’s Bookshelf, examines contemporary Russian fiction. She lives in Maine, USA.
‘There is sprightly, funny satire here and, beneath it, a surprising vein of poignancy.’
‘Third-person narration, circular structure, and archetypal characters lend this beautifully written literary mystery the feel of a modern fable. [We] recommend Vodolazkin’s slowly unfolding story to readers who prefer detailed research, artfully layered descriptions, and character epiphanies to thrills.’
‘An ambitious first novel. It is to Vodolazkin’s credit that he pulls it off, creating a substantial, beguiling work that engages the reader on several levels, encompassing a detective story, historical events and even a little romance.’
‘Absorbing, darkly witty, history soaked pages for literary and historical fiction fans.’
‘A substantial, beguiling work that engages the reader on several levels... A thoroughly enjoyable read.’
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